In addition to this year’s Dunlop Senior TT Race winner Dean Harrison and ten-time TT Champion Ian Lougher, the team – headed up Southern Irishmen Eddie Laycock and Gerry Lawlor – will also field Phil Harvey in the four-lap Dunlop Lightweight Classic TT Race with the trio riding similar, immaculately-prepared TZ 250 Yamaha’s.
Harrison made his debut for the team at last year’s event which saw him have his first ever race on a two-stroke and he didn’t disappoint as a fastest lap of 113.485mph enabled him to finish in a fine fourth place despite a problematic time during qualifying.
Now a three-time TT race winner, Harrison has also been victorious at the Classic TT on four occasions with two successive wins coming in the 2017 and 2018 RST Superbike Classic TT races on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki.
His first Classic TT win was secured – by the narrow margin of 0.174 seconds - in 2013 with victory in the Formula Classic Race riding a 750cc BSA. Another win was taken in the 2015 Senior Classic TT Race, when riding a 500cc Black Eagle MV Agusta, and with the experience of last year’s Lightweight Race under his belt, he will be aiming for the victory this year to complete a unique set of race wins around the Mountain Course.
Winner of the 1990 Junior TT on a Ray Cowles Yamaha, Lougher continues with the team for a fifth consecutive year and having taken three podiums in the last three years, he’s keen to take the top step this time around and repeat his victory of five years ago.
Runner-up to Bruce Anstey in both 2016 and 2017, the veteran Welshman took third place behind Lee Johnston and Adam McLean twelve months ago and with a best lap on the Laylaw Racing machines of 117.742mph, set in 2017, he’ll again be amongst the favourites for race honours this time around.
Harvey, meanwhile, returns to the event hoping for better fortune this year after being forced to retire twelve months ago. However, having made his debut around the 37.73-mile circuit back in 1995, the Goole rider has every chance of a podium finish having taken third place in 2016. He also took fourth place two years ago on his privately-entered Honda and with a fastest lap of 113.212mph, he cannot be discounted.
Laycock, himself a double TT winner with victory in the 1987 Junior and 1989 Supersport 400cc races, and former sponsor Lawlor have established themselves as leading exponents in the Lightweight Classic TT field and there’s every chance the striking yellow and white machines could take a clean sweep of the podium positions this August.
Tickets for the 2019 Classic TT are now on sale via the Official iomttraces.com website including Official Grandstand Tickets, VIP Hospitality Experiences, and Official Entertainment Events including the Counterfeit Stones Classic TT Party Performance. You can stay up to date with all the latest Classic TT news by subscribing to the Official Isle of Man TT Races Newsletter.
Images courtesy of Dave Kneen / Pacemaker Press